Raising Climate Awareness at Schools

Wuppertaler Theses on the Schools4Future project published

  • News 04.10.2022

How do stakeholders of climate protection projects assess the possibilities for a change towards more climate awareness in schools? The Wuppertal Theses no 27 (Wuppertaler Studienarbeiten zur nachhaltigen Entwicklung) deals with this question in a multi-level analysis. The thesis is a contribution to the Schools4Future project of the Wuppertal Institute, which supports students in calculating the carbon footprint of their school and making it climate neutral.
In her thesis, the Master's student Amelie Vogler looks at the perspective of actors in climate protection projects on the transformation process to a climate-neutral school. She conducted qualitative interviews with stakeholders from politics, research institutions as well as teachers and students who are involved in climate protection at their school. This gave me insights into their experiences and individual perspectives. "In my work, I look at how pioneers deal with niche projects like Schools4Future and how they interact with the school system and society. The goal of the projects, the transformation to a climate-neutral school, is a multi-layered and dynamic process that brings with it many challenges," she continues.

The results show that the German school system is characterised by an inherent rigidity, deep-set normative role dynamics, and an unappreciated role of schools in society. Changing routines that have become ingrained over many decades are therefore particularly difficult. Climate protection projects can be a driving force in individual schools, but overall climate protection needs to be addressed more systematically in the school and more substantial efforts and reforms are necessary. This requires, for example, changes in the curricula. Highly motivated niche actors are crucial drivers for this process. Because our society and decision-makers can learn from their experiences for the future.

The master's thesis is published in the series "Wuppertaler Studienarbeiten zur nachhaltigen Entwicklung" (Wuppertal Theses on Sustainable Development), in which outstanding scientific diploma, master's or state examination theses are published and are produced within the framework of sustainability research at the Wuppertal Institute. Vogler's Wuppertal Thesis is published in cooperation with the Wuppertal Institute and the Institute of Systems Sciences, Innovation and Sustainability Research at the University of Graz and is available under the link below.

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